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A '''cactus''' (plural: ''cacti'', ''cactuses'', or ''cactus'') is a member of the plant family '''Cactaceae''' within the order Caryophyllales. The word "cactus" derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek , ''kaktos'', a name originally used by Theophrastus for a spiny plant whose identity is not certain. Cacti occur in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in extremely dry environments, even being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. Almost all cacti are succulents, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. Unlike many other succulents, the stem is the only part of most cacti where this vital process takes place. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only Thorns, spines, and prickles|spines,...
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